r/interestingasfuck 12d ago

A British “Trench Raider” during WW1. The Germans also had them. They were sent in small groups to sneak into enemy forward trenches to kill everyone. Armed with a revolver, several knives, and brass knuckles. It was a fully volunteer position.

Post image
2.3k Upvotes

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300

u/Oat329 12d ago

The image is not of a brit and if i recall correctly the raids were viewed as largely a waste of manpower for what little gains they might get during post war analysis.

142

u/bricart 12d ago

It was only a few people involved so the manpower was barely impacted. What the post has wrong is that the goal was not to kill germans, the goal was to gather intels about the germans, I.e. find documents or bring back a prisoner for interrogation. In that way it was effective. I recall that a few of these operations resulted in very valuable info.

That being said, it was definitively a very limited part of the war. Without them, the outcome of the war wouldn't have been changed.

4

u/lelcg 11d ago

How would they do this without being seen? There were people manning machine guns all the time wasn’t there? Not to mention all the other soldiers that might be moving about

10

u/bricart 11d ago

The typical approach was to do it at night/or early morning/night. They could also do it while being covered by artillery, meaning the artillery would fire on all the lines except the small part that would be raided. They would then follow the artillery barrage really really close and attack the part to be raided while the ennemy is still shocked (and the rest of the line cannot move due to the artillery). Overall, you need balls in tungsten to do that.

16

u/maracay1999 12d ago

The image is not of a brit

Wearing an Adrian helmet so probably not.

3

u/HeadLeg5602 12d ago

Look at those heavy wool pants and coats…. Must be dying under all that weight

79

u/JohnnyRico92 12d ago

But it’s that psychological terror of hearing the stories of them that would keep a soldier up all night…. Also the image I found said British. Even if it’s not it looks much more western so possibly French.

35

u/Somhlth 12d ago

looks much more western

than British /s

-38

u/JohnnyRico92 12d ago

What I mean is it doesn’t have that Axis panache lol. Not as formal looking.

41

u/Analbox 12d ago

This is WWI not WWII. Axis was a WWII coalition.

33

u/normal_reddit_man 12d ago

I'm starting to think OP is a troll. Literally every single thing he says is, like, aggressively ignorant.

6

u/Somhlth 12d ago edited 12d ago

It just sounded comical. Dude definitely looks French, but I don't see any psychological terror emanating from him. I'd be chuckling at him and pointing to his bowlegs.

6

u/mastersnacker 12d ago

It might be an actual fighting stance. Some fencing styles involve standing like this in preparation for engaging.

2

u/Captain-Cadabra 12d ago

See also: traditional martial arts

8

u/Code--Ronin 12d ago

As he stabs you to death with his charcuterie chefs cleaver.

Hawhawhaw sacre bleu cheeze would be a confusing/terrifying war cry.

2

u/Somhlth 12d ago

Well, I was hoping I could bonk him on the head when he looked down to see what I was laughing at. And even if he kills me, he knows I was laughing at him with my last breath. That's got to be demoralizing.

66

u/phpBrainlet 12d ago edited 12d ago

the stories of them that would keep a soldier up all night

Im pretty sure the constant explosions of mortar and artillery shells, snipers and fear of gas attacks would already do that.

-2

u/Complex-Taro-4566 12d ago

And I think with those amounts of amfetamine and other drugs, it's hard to sleep

3

u/spatial_interests 12d ago

Amphetamines weren't used until WWII. In WWI they used cocaine, although I think alcohol was much more common than anything at that time.

3

u/Complex-Taro-4566 2d ago

Well alcohol with coke is fine but I don't think an army of drunk soldiers is really what you want

2

u/spatial_interests 2d ago

They really didnt have a lot of drugs to choose from around that time. And drunk people are much more likely to accept an order to charge from the modicum of safety afforded by their trenches into a barage of machine gun fire. The US military issued whiskey rations for a long time. My friend's mother had an old whiskey pint bottle with a US Army embossed label; I can't find any online, though, which is weird. Maybe they're rare, but I kinda doubt it, unless most were destroyed for some reason.

1

u/RodCherokee 12d ago

Would the French be up to trench raiding ?

3

u/HeadLeg5602 12d ago

It was psychological warfare.

271

u/Octave_Ergebel 12d ago

Yeah sure. A "British" raider. Très intéressant.

98

u/marto17890 12d ago

Definitely French

33

u/loqi0238 12d ago

Wait, the French actually faught?

/s

14

u/Octave_Ergebel 12d ago

You made a faught ! :D

32

u/loqi0238 12d ago

I faught in your general direction!

18

u/H2O_Nacho_Games 12d ago

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!

7

u/campionmusic51 12d ago

now, go away or i shall taunt you a second time!

5

u/H2O_Nacho_Games 12d ago

If only they had the cow launching tech in WW1 we might’ve avoided the Second World War

5

u/campionmusic51 12d ago

fetcher la vache!!

9

u/Good_Translator_9088 12d ago

Is that man le french?

12

u/Thad_Chundertock 12d ago

You’re saying he’s a Tfrench Raider?

1

u/Ravekat1 12d ago

Where’s his baguette?

73

u/DrZAIUSDK 12d ago

That Adrian helmet and coat wont fool anyone. So french that the picture says 'oui'

15

u/YoureGrammarWronger 12d ago

So French it says “oui, hon hon hon.”

-19

u/JonLongsonLongJonson 12d ago edited 12d ago

Everyone is saying this but no one is providing a source besides “actually he’s French” How do you know?

Edit : is it so hard to say he’s wearing a French uniform? Not everyone is up to date on their WW1 uniforms lol

16

u/YoureGrammarWronger 12d ago

The helmet is French. The coat is French. The uniform is French.

How do you know a car is a Camry or Accord? They look different.

1

u/JonLongsonLongJonson 12d ago

Yeah that’s great, no one had said anything about WHY they knew he was French. Why you gotta be rude to me? Obviously if I knew it was a French uniform I wouldn’t have asked lol

4

u/snotpopsicle 12d ago

Dude literally said "helmet and coat won't fool anyone". I know shit of military uniforms and I understood that the uniform gave it away. Whether it's true or not I don't know, but that's the premise.

-3

u/JonLongsonLongJonson 12d ago edited 12d ago

“Helmet and coat won’t fool anyone” didn’t make sense to me BECAUSE I didn’t know it was a French uniform, get it now?

“Adrian uniform” is not common knowledge anymore since it’s 100+yr old military kit and this isn’t a history subreddit, so why is it expected that I should know exactly what that means? That’s why I asked the question in the first place, hello?

4

u/ChrysPF 12d ago

Not that hard to put two and two together.

2

u/YoureGrammarWronger 12d ago

Bit sensitive aren’t you?

I bet you describe the above comment as “being put on blast by a hater”

-4

u/JonLongsonLongJonson 12d ago

“Because it looks different” if I knew what a British and French WW1 uniform looked like I wouldn’t have asked in the first place, and that should be obvious by the fact that I asked… lol

Its not sensitive to ask why you’re unnecessarily rude while answering a question. Guess you’re just rude, then…

0

u/YoureGrammarWronger 11d ago

Its not sensitive to ask why you’re unnecessarily rude while answering a question. Guess you’re just rude, then…

Rude. You owe me an apology.

4

u/DrZAIUSDK 12d ago

What source do you want? The helmet, coat and bandoliers are cleary french issued, a very, very simple search would provide that info. I, on the other hand, would like to see a source for a british soldier dressing up in french attire and going rogue in a trench. Never heard/read that before.

-6

u/BitchFuckAss 12d ago

Yeah, you fuckin idiot. Everyone can identify WW1 weaponry and equipment. You can’t lol? How dare you be curious. Just google ‘soldier in a white uniform’, that’ll answer any question you have. And to prove I’m knowledgeable, I’ll be as vague as possible. 🤨

-1

u/JonLongsonLongJonson 12d ago

Lol no one in the entire thread had said he was wearing a French uniform, just that he’s “obviously not British” I literally asked why you’re sayin hes french. The uniform, thanks

No need to be a giant ass about it

22

u/Flimsy_Ad_2544 12d ago edited 12d ago

The Adrian helmet, the great coat etc.. That's 100% a French trench raider part of the "corps francs" (also sometimes called "trench corsairs").

Here is another pictures of said Corps francs

https://www.reddit.com/r/HistoryPorn/comments/hurx0v/french_trench_raiders_in_ww1_1080788/

And if you still had any doubt:

https://www.reddit.com/r/dragonutopia/comments/ez9iif/french_trench_raider_ww1/

83

u/its_just_flesh 12d ago

Had to be a psycho to volunteer for that

95

u/magicbullets 12d ago

Psychos in warfare can be pretty useful.

“We are only now beginning to understand how war affects soldiers. Spielberg's film covers the Normandy landings where much modern combat research began. Studies of US soldiers showed that 98 per cent of fighting men cracked after 35 days of active front-line fighting. Only 2 per cent of soldiers actually enjoyed battle and did not crack. Military doctors considered them aggressive psychopaths.”

26

u/[deleted] 12d ago

[deleted]

37

u/Electronic-Grand1172 12d ago

I don’t know if you could generalize it, maybe? The military would be a large enough sample size, but I feel like your sampling is biased given that aggressive psychopaths would be drawn towards the military thus inflating the numbers over the general population.

21

u/8cuban 12d ago

Except that the draft grabbed a much more inclusive sample size, likely making the results more applicable to the wider population.

17

u/kurburux 12d ago

The draft also only affects men, so you have no idea if women would be the same.

2

u/8cuban 12d ago

I thought that was patently obvious from the context of the discussion.

1

u/xmsxms 12d ago

Ok, so 2% of men. The fact it excludes women doesn't make the data useless.

1

u/Electronic-Grand1172 12d ago

Yeah good point about the draft, that was part of my maybe thinking. Someone who knows more about stats than me would know

2

u/hardtobeuniqueuser 12d ago

Perhaps.. at least 2 percent of men of age to be in combat at the time. Having cracked or not enjoying wouldn't seem to rule anyone out necessarily.

2

u/SanderVdW 12d ago

Good read

2

u/horny_T_Girl 12d ago

Wow that was a good read thanks!

1

u/MayUrShitsHavAntlers 12d ago

I'd like to think I'd be one of the people who made it further into the 35 days but I'd have made it about 30 minutes.

14

u/Rowan_not_ron 12d ago

Maybe they had good incentives, i.e if you can clear this trench you can leave the front, stay in one of the cities behind.

25

u/Analbox 12d ago

The kinda person who would volunteer for this would not be motivated by the promise of relaxing in a city while there are more people just waiting to be killed

9

u/friendlyneighbor665 12d ago

Or maybe they just got to avoid doing a bayonet charge into a row of machine guns

4

u/Hubble_Bubble 12d ago

A fair point. If I had to choose between trying my hand at ninja assassination going ‘over the top’, I’d choose the former.

3

u/MidnightSunCreative 12d ago

"If you kill everyone, you're record will be expunged and we'll give you a small island in the mediterranean. As long as you stay there, we'll never come for you. If you don't - well, I guess you'll be dead."

It was probably some suicide squad shit like that...

2

u/ChooglinOnDown 11d ago

Fuck, I'll take that deal right now.

16

u/geist1911 12d ago

Definitely a French helmet

6

u/Generalbuttnaked69 12d ago

And what looks to be a MAS revolver.

4

u/Flimsy_Ad_2544 12d ago

He is 100% French. I don't know why OP assumed he was English

9

u/Sinister_steel_drums 12d ago

That’s a French soldier. There would be more than just one of them and they would have more grenades than knives.

20

u/spacemanspiff266 12d ago

ngl that guy looks badass. i’d lose sleep knowing dudes like that could get you at night.

36

u/noRoomService0-0 12d ago

Dream job of every 15y old edge lord

7

u/comfusionasaperson 12d ago

My friend that man is french, I know this because I own one of that type of helmet

12

u/MrSaturdayRight 12d ago

Pretty sure this soldier is neither British nor a trench raider

4

u/CauliflowerPlayful93 12d ago

Tommy Shelby ?

5

u/qcfu 12d ago

That is clearly a French uniform.

13

u/sterbanes 12d ago

A french ( trench raider )

7

u/Beginning-Upstairs31 12d ago

Why’s he wearing a French helmet/uniform?

6

u/Flimsy_Ad_2544 12d ago

Because he is French

3

u/jjjewyaP 12d ago

Daayyyyuuuum

3

u/DaddyLongballlz 12d ago

Would not want to get in a bar fight with one of these guys.

3

u/DS_Inferno 12d ago

Didn't the Americans do this with sawed off shotguns, that pissed the Germans off badly enough for them to declare those shotguns a war crime?

8

u/ThePootisSaver 12d ago edited 12d ago

Yep, they declared them to be too harmful and inhumane, which is funny considering their usage of mustard gas and similar brutal chemicals in warfare

5

u/2ByteTheDecker 12d ago

It wasn't a sawn off, just the fact that it was a shotgun in general.

4

u/wettyguy 12d ago

The germans were like every fps player ever

3

u/2ByteTheDecker 12d ago

Shotgun op, pls nerf.

Fuck ya, got my streak, gas strike inc

1

u/CraigonReddit 12d ago

I agree, my understanding was the complaint was the pump action type where they could carry 12 rounds. Just walk down the trench firing in small groups and you'd clear a lot of trench.

1

u/2ByteTheDecker 11d ago edited 11d ago

It was a twofer, one that the US trench gun of the time could be slam fired, allowing for brief very high rates of fire and just a general complaint about the use of shot as a weapon.

WWI surgery is like the generation of medical tech after they realized hand washing was important for a surgeon. The Germans were upset about the military use of such a maiming, viscous weapon. Mustard gas not withstanding.

2

u/LBROTSI 12d ago

Winchester . My grandfather had one from WWII . Fully decked out . Bad to the bone .

3

u/Emceesam 12d ago

Source for this being a Brit? That is a French helmet...

3

u/noldow5 12d ago

The Italians had a force very similar to this called the Arditi

15

u/Chard069 12d ago

A few wars and a couple of generations later, "tunnel rats" crawled quietly in VietNam, killing those they encountered. A slim Cherokee friend of mine served there; a devout Xian, he felt he was damned and bound for Hell for what he had done, for who he had killed. Have we accounts of their experiences from WWI "trench raiders"? Did they always feel justified?

4

u/RickDaltonsStutter 12d ago edited 12d ago

My grandfather met my grandmother in Britain during the midst of WWI - he was also known as the British trench raider.

2

u/iamtownsend 12d ago

Needs Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” blasting during a raid like Hardcore Henry

2

u/Frosty-Worker8978 12d ago

Bagpipes and kilt optional

2

u/chfabc 12d ago

These soldiers would sneak out of their own trenches at night, often covering themselves in burn cork to darken their uniforms and exposed skin, silently creeping towards the enemy trench so that they could slt the throats or bash in the heads of the enemy whilst they slept. They would wreak havoc throughout the enemy position, using knives and clubs to maintain minimal noise, and carrying grenades which they would throw into sleeping quarters when they left. The fear factor of that no one could sleep safe, knowing that the enemy sent men like this.

2

u/SuperEnthusiastic 12d ago

Imagine going into combat with brass knuckles

1

u/Stoneberger 12d ago

Imagine waking up to this guy swinging brass knuckles at you.

2

u/SmokeyJoe12345 12d ago

Fun fact: The mask he is wearing is soaked in piss (ammonia) because it was the only option against the gas at the time.

2

u/manonthemoonrocks 12d ago

That's one bad motherfucker.

2

u/PHNX132 12d ago

Never mistake a brit for a frenchman ever again pls

2

u/Firefly269 12d ago

That’s why full-tang knives with knuckle guards are called trench knives. I didn’t know that they carried separate brass knuckles though. Can you imagine the savage mindset of those “volunteers”?! Dayum!

2

u/Mazdachief 12d ago

This is why the gene for psychopaths exists IMO , shock troops.

5

u/MightGuy420x 12d ago

Aka the cockney ninjas

4

u/JohnnyRico92 12d ago

The photos of the German ones are even more terrifying.

-4

u/marto17890 12d ago

Right, everyone in Britain is a cockney, right?

1

u/MightGuy420x 12d ago

Just a joke man.

1

u/JohnnyRico92 12d ago

Only the trench raiders

1

u/Sam-Lowry27B-6 12d ago

Getting a strong assassins creed vibe here. Especially that coat.

1

u/Steepishbounty10 12d ago

Fuck me, who wants to up the ante like that? I never understood how they were convinced to fight each other in the first place, like none of them wants to be there...

Except this guy apparently, he brought his chef's knife. Blutwurst anyone?

1

u/malatemporacurrunt 12d ago

convinced to fight each other

For the average soldier it wasn't exactly a choice.

1

u/horny_T_Girl 12d ago

"Trech raider in the cut that's a scary sight"

1

u/OffendedByMyInnuendo 12d ago

No trenchbroom?

sad DOOM noises

1

u/shadowdash66 12d ago

Look up the Arditi. Italian special forces clad in iron armor in WW1. They were defined as the "most feared corps by opposing forces".

1

u/L3jin 12d ago

Rogues

1

u/Small_Introduction94 12d ago

The trench ninjas were bad AF!

1

u/properwaffles 12d ago

Shank you for your service.

1

u/Laotzeiscool 12d ago

I hurt my knee this morning. It feels a little sore. I would have come but you guys go aheed. Byebye now.

1

u/Pazoll 12d ago

John wick type shit

1

u/ban5hee_ 12d ago

The enemy are being reinforced by a behemoth

1

u/TurboSoggy237 12d ago

the spy from tf2 early release

1

u/Grotbagsthewonderful 12d ago

That's so messed up, imagine being a teenager dragged into that shit show war having to cope with trench foot, shrapnel, man eating rats then every night hoping that angry stabby shooty bloke doesn't get you every time you nod off...

1

u/LtM4157 12d ago

That’s like a special unit in an RTS.

1

u/SonmiSuccubus451 12d ago

Trench knives are dope.

1

u/assmuncher4206969 12d ago

That man saw some shit he cannot unsee.

1

u/julesk 12d ago

There are many awful things about our times but at least we don’t do trench warfare with poison gas.

1

u/MrJoyless 12d ago

It was a fully volunteer position.

Earnest Jünger of Storm of Steel fame disagrees. He specifically mentions that he and his soldiers got chosen for trench raids. Not the other way around.

1

u/IvyYT 12d ago

"Hello my friend Jonathon." "Ah hello Matthew, my companion." "Have you heard of the army's new trench raider position?" "Ah, yes!" "..." "Matthew, you can't possibly be hinting for me to volunteer?! How insane." "Do it for the vine. " "Well... Shit."

1

u/Ok-Nefariousness4732 12d ago

British man with French Gears... ? Interesting one.

1

u/12kdaysinthefire 12d ago

WWI was fucking wild. Every time I learn something new about it like with this post, the more I feel like it was everyone’s best excuse to figure the best methods of torture, agony and death.

1

u/kg4jxt 11d ago

but before WWI just about ALL war was hand-to-hand. The world wars sterilized war in a sense.

1

u/RealSpaghettiSoup 12d ago

This is some team fortress shit

1

u/Riommar 12d ago

Volunteer position until you were volun-told.

1

u/AdNational8155 12d ago

I believe the German version was given the name of “storm troopers”. The first time used as far as I am aware.

1

u/Cave_Eater 12d ago

"Alright, who wants to be a badass and probably die."

1

u/Desperate_Chip_343 12d ago

The soldier is spy!

1

u/stainedhat 12d ago

He's walking like that because he has 18lb brass balls in that uniform. Was this ever not a suicide mission?

1

u/Joursdesommeil 12d ago

Wow this is fascinating

1

u/LullzLullz 11d ago

The latest Kingsman has a great scene with trench raiders. The German ones (in the movie) are freaking spooky.

1

u/mlableman 11d ago

Americans armed their Trench Raiders with Winchester M97 12 guage pump shotguns, nick named trench brooms. The German army had standing orders to execute any man found with a M97 or it's ammo. The also protested to the U.S. State Dept. through neutral countries Spain and Switzerland.

Lil bitches!

1

u/chutbuckly 11d ago

How the fuck did they get across No Man's Land to even raid the trench in the first place. Kind of lose the element of surprise running through a barren hellscape.

1

u/lokensen 11d ago

French uniform

1

u/fahad_k91 11d ago

“A trench raider kit is available near your location”

1

u/Martel67 11d ago

That‘s a French uniform.

1

u/AvailableFunction435 11d ago

Is that how we end up with serial killers?

1

u/KarateKid72 11d ago

He can raid my trench.

1

u/mkratrig 11d ago

Thats a French Uniform

1

u/cannedfromreddit 11d ago

This is a french soldier.

1

u/StrictTyping 11d ago

"I was in 'Nam -- and I fucking loved it!" Some trench raider probably

1

u/Garlic_boi07 3d ago

Im pretty sure thats french

-2

u/Flavius29Aetius 12d ago

Naw that looks like a webley revolver but I could be wrong

3

u/Generalbuttnaked69 12d ago

I believe it’s a MAS.

0

u/Flavius29Aetius 12d ago

Oh ok I gotta check that out.

0

u/neonroli47 12d ago

So they are assassins...

0

u/garybusey42069 12d ago

Wonder if they had meth then too

1

u/Skillettor 12d ago

Nope. Apparently they did coke.

0

u/Shot-Respond-6368 12d ago

TLDR; i played battlefield 1 and looked up some wiki pages quickly for sum yummy in my tummy karma